Bed Bug Lawsuits

Everything You Need to Know About Bed Bug Lawsuits in California

In an effort to stop the spread of bed bugs, the state of California established a new bed bug law in July of 2017. The law was created to prevent bed bug-related injuries and illnesses in residents of hotels and rental homes, putting the liability on the operators of these establishments. Since then, bed bug lawsuits have been on the rise.
 
One of the most notable bed bug lawsuits was filed by a Southern California family that resulted in a win of $1.6 million in damages. While every case won’t receive such a hefty outcome, it is important for you to understand your rights as a tenant if you experience a bed bug infestation while renting.
 
Continue reading this article to find out everything you need to know about these pesticides and the laws that surround them.
 

What Are Bed Bugs?

 
Bed bugs are small, wingless parasites. Although they are visible to the naked eye, they are often difficult to find and identify because of their small size.
 
Adult bed bugs only grow to be about .25 inches long while their babies are roughly the size of a poppy seed. Regarding color, bed bugs range from white to light tan, deep brown, and burnt orange.
 
Their shape and or color can also change when the bugs are feeding.
 
There are two main species of bed bugs that prefer to feed on human blood. They often choose habitats in soft, dark areas like mattresses, couches, closets, and dresses where clothing is stored.
 
It is definitely possible to find bed bugs in private homes. However, they are most common in areas with multiple residents such as hotels, cruise ships, apartment buildings, shelters, dormitories, and barracks.
 

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

 
It is very common for a person to not know they have bed bugs in their home until they notice they’ve been bitten while asleep. One common trait about a bed bug’s feeding cycle is that they feed at night and usually while you are asleep.
 
Also keep in mind that you may see the bites right away, but it can also take up to two weeks for them to become visible. So, if a bite looks brand new, there’s a chance that it really isn’t.
 
Bed bug bites are usually small red bumps. They might be scattered around the body, but they often occur in clusters. The clusters are referred to as the breakfast, lunch, and dinner sign.
 
You may not have any symptoms after a bite, but it is also possible that you will. For instance, some people feel nauseous, get scars or skin infections.
 
Additionally, asthmatic reactions to the bugs are rare but possible.
 

How to Find Bed Bugs

 
With that said, you should carefully examine all of the fabrics on your bed. It’s common to find the bugs or their eggs mixed in with sheets, blankets, box springs, headboards, pillowcases, pillows, and within the mattress itself.
 
You will know if you have bed bugs if you find dark brown or rust colored stains. Those are most likely bed bug droppings. And if there is a large number of bed bugs in the area, you may smell a scent similar to coriander.
 
If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs in areas other than your bed. Other common locations are cracks and gaps behind wall outlets, floor molding, window and door molding and where carpet edges meet the wall.
 

What Causes A Bed Bug Infestations?

 
Bed bugs are good at adapting to their environments, so there are several ways an infestation can happen.
 
They often travel as stowaways on luggage, bedding, and furniture. Because of this, you should be extra careful when you purchase second-hand furniture and clothing items. And make it a general rule of thumb to never purchase used mattresses or bedding.
 
When making these kinds of purchases, you should always do a careful inspection for the signs of bed bugs listed above.
 
The presence of bed bugs doesn’t mean that the place they’re in is dirty. For instance, they’ve been known to live in clean, vacant homes where there are no residents. These parasites can live over two months without eating.
 

California’s Bed Bug Laws

 
As of July last year, California’s latest bed bug law took effect. The law that was designed to help prevent the spreading of bed bugs throughout the state now holds landlords responsible for the bed bugs in their residences.
 
Landlords are required to provide tenants with documents that state whether bed bugs are on the premises. The law says that the landlords should inform tenants if there is any suspicion of the bugs on the property too.
 
Additionally, California’s bed bug law indicates that landlords are not allowed to show or rent a unit that has an active infestation. The law also prohibits landlords from punishing tenants who report infestations.
 
Another part of this law is that landlords are not required to inspect their properties for bed bugs in the absence of a complaint from a tenant. However, they do have to notify tenants within two days if the bugs are found by a pest inspector.
 
Lastly, tenants have to cooperate with detection and treatment.
 

Filing Bed Bug Lawsuits in California

 
With the new bed bug law, there is, of course, the possibility of bed bug lawsuits in the state of California. Whether you are living in a rented property or staying at a hotel, you are allowed to sue the landlord or hotel owner.
 
The type of lawsuit that’s filed is called a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability laws hold property owners responsible for keeping their properties in safe conditions.
 
If you have been bitten by bed bugs, bed bug lawsuits can cover damages such as:

In order to recover damages from your landlord or the hotel you stayed in, you will need to prove a couple of things. They include that the owner of the property knew about the infestation and that the owner didn’t take the steps that were required to prevent the infestation.
 
Additionally, bed bug lawsuits can result in a court order for the operator of the infested property to exterminate the bugs.
 

Have You Had a Recent Bed Bug Experience?

 
You and your family shouldn’t have to be exposed to the discomfort and possible illnesses that bed bugs can cause. And if you think a recent infestation was the result of your landlord’s negligence, you deserve to have an excellent legal team fighting in your corner.
 
Contact us for a consultation and see why we have a 98.7% case success rate.

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wrongful death attorney

7 Important Questions To Ask A Wrongful Death Attorney

An accidental death can wreak havoc on your family, both emotionally and financially. In addition to overcoming the grief felt after losing a loved one, your family may now face a mountain of debt. This is where hiring a wrongful death attorney will drastically help your financial situation.
 
When someone dies as a result of negligence on behalf of a person or organization, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide restitution to surviving family members.
 
However, you’ll first need to hire a qualified wrongful death attorney to represent you. This is easier said than done.
 
Although you probably want to get the ball rolling quickly, hiring an attorney out of haste could lead to a negative outcome. Instead, you’ll need to ask some questions first.
 
Let’s go over seven important questions to ask a wrongful death lawyer before hiring them.
 

1. How Much Wrongful Death Experience Do You Have?

An attorney may practice personal injury law, but that doesn’t mean they have experience with wrongful death. This is a very complicated area of law, so you need to hire someone who has extensive experience with it.
 
Ask the attorney you’re considering how many years they’ve handled wrongful death cases. Ideally, you want to work with someone who’s devoted much of their career to it.
 
Years of experience means they’ve seen a wide range of wrongful death cases. This gives them the ability to evaluate your case and understand what approach is likely to garner a successful settlement.
 
Working with an experienced attorney also means they’ll have the skills needed to negotiate a settlement or fight for your rights in court.
 

2. How Many Cases Have You Taken to Court?

At the beginning of a case, it’s often hard to tell which way it will go. There’s a good chance the case will end up in court.
 
You need to know your attorney is capable of representing you well in front of a judge and jury. Ask them how many cases they’ve taken to court and what their track record of success is.
 
Some attorneys try to negotiate settlements out of court as much as possible. Many times, this is because they don’t feel confident in the courtroom.
 
You want someone who has a reputation for taking cases to court and winning. Having someone in your corner who will fight for you will provide peace of mind and also improve your chances of getting justice for the death of your loved one.
 

3. How Long Will My Case Take?

This is a sensitive time for you and your family. Everything may seem up in the air, so it’s good to get a sense of how long it will take to come to a resolution.
 
Keep in mind there’s no way to predict exactly how long a case will take, especially right at the beginning. However, an experienced lawyer will be able to give you an estimate.
 
This is a good time to ask what kind of caseload they’re currently handling. You need to know they have the time to fully devote themselves to your case.
 
You should also ask when they’ll file your wrongful death case if you should hire them.
 

4. Do You Feel I Have a Case?

During your initial consultation, you’ll need to provide as many details about the wrongful death as possible. Then, ask the wrongful death attorney what they think about your case.
 
Again, they won’t be able to give you definitive answers about the outcome. However, they can let you know if your case is worth moving forward with.
 
You should also ask if they see anything that may work against you. Do they feel these details could pose a problem?
 
Finally, you may want to ask what kind of settlement they feel you may get. This could serve as an indication of whether it makes sense to move forward.
 

5. Who Will Be Working on My Case?

Many law firms have a number of attorneys working for them. Sometimes the attorney who conducts the initial consultation isn’t the person assigned to the case.
 
You want to make sure the attorney you speak to will be with you the entire time. Yes, they may have paralegals and associates help with some of the workload, but they need to be the one heading up your case.
 
In addition, ask if they have a communication policy in place. You need to know you can get answers to your questions in a timely manner. Attorneys are very busy and sometimes hard to get in contact with. Make sure someone will be there you take your questions or get a message to the attorney right away.
 

6. What Will Your Approach Be?

Wrong full death cases can be extremely complicated. They can involve defective products, negligence, or medical malpractice. It’s important you understand how your wrongful death attorney will tackle your case. This will give you a sense of how aggressive they are.
 
Keep in mind that their approach may not align with your own personal feelings toward the case. Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain their approach in more detail. You want to know the person you hire is knowledgeable.
 
It’s important to remember this is a very sensitive time for you and your family. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of hearing out other strategies.
 

7. What Are Your Fees?

Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if you receive a settlement. However, it’s important to understand what percentage they’ll get.
 
Watch out for rates that seem extraordinarily low. This is an indication that an attorney isn’t very experienced and is simply trying to attract clients with low rates.
 
On the other hand, don’t agree to rates that are too high and out of your budget. Instead, look for a competitive rate. It’s a good idea to get a few quotes before you hire someone.
 
A qualified attorney will charge a rate that reflects their experience and track record.
 

Find the Right Wrongful Death Attorney in Your Area

While grieving over the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to do is deal with a legal case. However, if negligence was involved, you need a qualified wrongful death attorney to fight for justice on your behalf.
 
Remember these questions when looking for high-quality representation. It’ll make all the difference in the end.
 
We provide experienced wrongful death and personal injury representation. Contact our team of experienced wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation.

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California?

When a loved one dies, it takes and enormous emotional toll on friends and family members. It can also cause extreme financial hardship. When a person dies or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity, the surviving members of the victim(s) family may file a wrongful death lawsuit in California.
 
This lawsuit seeks compensation for the survivors’ loss, such as lost wages from the deceased, lost companionship, and funeral expenses. We will never truly be ready to file a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one, all we can do is prepare our best knowledge if a tragic incident occurs.
 

Typically, wrongful death damages can be awarded to whoever is considered the next of kin. This may include:

  • Spouses – The surviving spouse usually has a claim for the lost companionship and emotional trauma that resulted from the deceased death.
  • Children – Comfort and support plays a huge role as a parent. Minor children, not usually adult children, may be awarded damages for the lost benefits of their relationship with the deceased.
  • Parents – If the deceased is neither married nor have any children, the parents would then be next in line as the next of kin who would be entitled to recover damages for emotional trauma, and loss of relationship with deceased.
  •  
    If there is no surviving person in the line of descent, then a wrongful death lawsuit in California may be brought by the deceased persons siblings, depending on who is living at the time of the death or who was financially dependent of the deceased person prior to their passing.
     

    A wrongful death may include a number of circumstances, such as the following:

  • Automobile or airplane accident
  • Death during a supervised activity or occupational exposure to hazardous condition
  • Medical malpractice
  • Criminal behavior
  •  

    Losses from a wrongful death lawsuit may include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Loss of income, including potential income the deceased would of been responsible or expected to earn.
  • Value of household services
  • Loss of love, affection, support, and guidance.
  •  

    Don’t File Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit in California Alone

    Wrongful death claims, like personal injury claims, must be filed within a specific time period. If the case is not filed in the states civil court system within two years of the date of the deceased death, the family will in most cases lose the right to file it at all. The two year time limit in which you have to file a claim is required by the California Law, this is considered as the statue of limitation.
     
    There is no dollar amount that we can receive to bring back a loved one.. The wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Bond and Taylor will fight to provide your family with the justice and compensation you deserve. With no out of pocket expense if you win, we are here to fight for you. You may contact us at (800) 471-0314 if you are in need of any additional information.

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    Bike Safety in California

    Bike Safety in California: How to Avoid Getting Hit by a Car

    Bike safety in California is a growing concern. While cycling is a healthy and relatively safe activity for millions of riders, accidents can still happen.
     
    Biking has become a popular way to commute throughout the United States, the number of bicyclist in California have increased considerably from 2012 to 2017 to about 25 percent.
     
    As a result, there has been an increase in bicycle accidents. Bike safety is knowledge that everyone should have, for both drivers and riders. We will be focusing on how to avoid specific collisions between bikes and motor vehicles, a common cause of facilitates and serious injuries for bike related accidents.
     

    Stay Visible

    According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Due to this heightened risk, it is required by law to equip your bike with lights during night time. Having front and rear lights will make you more visible to other motorists at night.
     
    It is also recommended that you wear reflective or bright colored clothing in order to increase your viability to other drivers and vehicles.
     

    Signal Your Turns

    Just like when motorists use their blinker lights to let others know they will be making a lane change, bicyclist should signal as well. Using hand gestures will let other motorists know in advance where you are attempting to merge. You’re less likely to get hit when your movement doesn’t take motorists by surprise.
     

    Avoid Busy Streets

    A benefit of being a bicyclist is that you are able to take alternative routes that other motorists cannot, resulting in less traffic and less accidents. If you learn your routes well, you’ll find that in many cities you can travel through neighborhoods to get to most places, only crossing through the busier streets rather then traveling on them.
     

    Bike Safety in California – What to do Next

     
    The more you are aware of the real dangers of cycling, the more seriously we hope you’ll take your own safety when you are out on your bike. However, accidents are not always within your control. If you are injured due to someone’s negligence, you have options.
     
    Accidents involving automobiles and bicycles can involve serious injuries and liabilities. Bicycle accident lawsuits are often determined whether the driver or the cyclist negligence caused or contributed to the accident. The negligence determination can be complex and require an experienced attorney.
     
    The attorneys at Bond and Taylor will help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (800) 471-0314 for a free over the phone case evaluation.

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    Car Accident Injuries

    7 Most Frequent Car Accident Injuries

    Most people who’ve been in a car accident don’t even realize they were injured until after the fact. If you are feeling symptoms after an accident, you may have been injured but are only now experiencing the pain. Here we discuss 7 of the most common car accident injuries.
     
    One of the most terrifying things about driving is the possibility of being involved in an accident. Up to 50 million people all around the globe (just over two million in the US alone) experience a crash each year.
     
    If you’re lucky enough to survive a crash, there are still the injuries that come with it. Many people walk away from accidents without even being aware that they may be injured.
     
    With that in mind, here are seven common personal injuries that can occur while out on the road.
     

    1. Leg and Knee Injuries

     
    Some people tend to forget that car accident injuries can affect the lower half of the body as well as everything above the waist. Legs and knees can be quite fragile, especially during a collision.
     
    While most of the interior of the car that can strike the body are higher up (the steering wheel, for example), it’s still possible to receive damage in the legs and knees.
     
    A side on collision may crumple the driver or passenger side of the vehicle, which could impact the lower half of the body and be just as serious as other types of injury.
     

    2. Neck and Back Injuries

     
    Probably one of the most common injuries from car accidents is whiplash. This happens when a collision causes the head and neck to move about rapidly, causing damage to the ligaments.
     
    Chances are some of you reading this may have had whiplash in the past or know someone who has.
     
    There is also disc herniation, which is a more serious type of neck injury. This affects the individual vertebrae and is more commonly known as a slipped disc.
     
    It’s also common for people to experience general neck pain, which can sometimes include swelling.
     

    3. Chest Injuries

     
    As you can imagine, during a serious collision it’s possible for blunt force trauma to occur in the chest area.
     
    This can cause damage ranging from bruising to broken ribs and possibly severe injury to the lungs by puncturing them. Some people with heart conditions may also go into cardiac arrest from the impact.
     
    It’s worth noting that chest injuries can occur from the seat belt being too restrictive for the driver or passenger.
     

    4. Broken Bones

     
    It probably won’t be too much of a surprise to learn that broken bones are also one of the most common car accident injuries.
     
    The impact of a collision can be devastating to the body. Any broken bones that occur should be treated immediately.
     
    They are usually quite painful and can take a long time to heal.
     
    The most common type are compound fractures. This is when the bone actually pierces the skin and will stick out of the body in some way.
     
    I know that sounds disgusting, which is why broken bones should always be taken seriously.
     

    5. Burns

     
    So far I’ve spoken about accidents that occur from immediate impact. But what about other effects?
     
    Many people may not realise (if they’ve never been in a car accident) that burns can also be a significant injury.
     
    During a collision, vehicles can set on fire. If this occurs, there is an immediate danger for those who are still inside.
     
    Being trapped in a car (or being unconscious) after an accident can cause burns from a nearby fire. And unlike broken bones or whiplash, physical scarring from burns may occur, which could have psychological, as well as physical, effects on a person.
     

    6. Soft Tissue Injuries

     
    It’s possible to walk away from a car accident with seemingly no damage. Your bones aren’t broken, you’re not burned and you may not even have any cuts or bruises.
     
    However, you may have sustained soft tissue injuries, where the muscles and tendons have become damaged. It just may not be apparent immediately.
     
    You need to be wary of these types of injuries.
     
    While they are still common, they can be deceptive. In fact, some people may not even know about them until some time later.
     
    While X-rays may show no bone damage and you feel fine otherwise, getting checked for muscle injury is still very important following an accident.
     

    7. Concussions

     
    Most people know what a concussion is. They would have heard of the term in the past.
     
    But how many people actually know what causes them?
     
    They are caused by serious head injuries, usually when the head and brain are shook too violently (similar to whiplash). This can lead to unconsciousness, which is very dangerous after a car crash.
     
    As you can imagine, this is something that can easily occur during a high-speed impact. As the vehicle collides with something (another car, for example), the head can be exposed to serious trauma during impact.
     
    This can often be followed up by contusions (bruises) and any signs of concussion in a person should be treated very seriously. They often require surgery afterward.
     
    In fact, I think it would be a good idea to get yourself acquainted with what a concussion is and how to recognize its symptoms. Healthline has a very informative page on the subject.
     

    Car Accident Injuries Are Not Just Physical

     
    Regardless of how common or uncommon these may be, car accident injuries should always be taken seriously. There is always an element of danger in brushing off harm from a traffic collision.
     
    While the physical symptoms are the most dangerous, there are also the emotional symptoms that often accompany such traumatic events.
     
    Emotional distress can be just as common. The aftereffects of a vehicle accident can be felt long after the injuries have healed.
     
    Many people may feel unwilling to go back to driving, either for a long time or forever. The memory of being in an accident will most likely stay with that person for a while, possibly years.
     
    You may often find that people will turn to therapy and psychological help after an accident to help with the emotional trauma.
     
    It’s important to remember that collisions cannot be brushed aside, either physically or mentally.
     
    If you need more information about what to do after a car accident and you’re in California, Washington or Colorado, contact us at (800) 471-0314.

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    Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joins Leading Injury Law Firm

    Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon Announced as Bond & Taylor’s Newest Partner

    (IRVINE, CALIFORNIA) September 26, 2018 –  Bond & Taylor announces Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon as a new Partner in the firm.  She brings a wealth of experience and her legacy as an advocate for California’s minority communities, to a firm that shares her mission for service.

    Judge Sanchez-Gordon

    During her 20 years serving as a Judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Sanchez-Gordon saw a variety of cases covering class actions, insurance, business law, employment law, and both legal and medical liability. Equipped with this breadth of experience, she will maximize the firm’s effectiveness and support offered to their injured clients.

    We are honored to have Judge Sanchez-Gordon join our firm.  She is one of the most highly respected Judges in California and has shown incredible compassion for the communities she has served.” says Bond & Taylor’s Founding Partner, Candice Bond.

    Judge Sanchez-Gordon was born in Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles as the eldest of eleven children. She began her professional career as an elementary school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. After teaching for 9 years, she was inspired to attend law school by her husband, attorney Walter L Gordon, III, and his father, who were both pioneers among African American lawyers. She attended night school and obtained a law degree while continuing to teach.

    Her legal career began in 1988 as a director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Immigrant Assistance Project, where she helped immigrant workers gain legal status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act. She moved on to serve as a deputy public defender until her election to the East Los Angeles Court. Just 4 years later, she was elected as the first Mexican-American woman Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, where she served for 20 years.

    Steve Mehr, the law firms Managing Director says, “I have a profound respect for what Judge Sanchez has achieved in her career. Her many accomplishments are evidence of her strong character and her dedication to service is aligned with what we at Bond & Taylor represent.

    Off the bench, Judge Sanchez-Gordon continues to build relationships between California judges and their Mexican counterparts. She is a Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation and regularly lectures at school forums on community issues. She currently lives with her husband in Silver Lake, California and is a proud parent and grandmother.

    Judge Sanchez adds, “I’m very honored to begin this new chapter of my life with the prestigious law firm of Bond & Taylor and to continue my service as an advocate to the communities I hold so dear to me.

     

    About Bond & Taylor

    Bond & Taylor is a leading personal injury law firm with offices in California and Washington. The firm represents those in need of justice for their personal injury cases ranging from catastrophic injuries, auto, motorcycle and truck accidents to wrongful death claims and employment litigation. With a dedicated team of experienced attorneys and legal professionals, Bond & Taylor is considered to be one of the top personal injury law firms in the nation. For more information visit https://bondtaylor.com

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    Workers' Compensation Benefits

    Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

    Workers’ Compensation is a policy designed to protect employees when injured while on the job, as well as the employer from any lawsuits. Workers’ compensation benefits are the monetary support an employee receives after being injured on the job.
     
    A job injury or illness entitles you to benefits including lost wages, medical bills and other expenses. Listed below are requirements from the program that will help you identify if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
     

    An Employer Must Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation

     
    The states are responsible for implementing workers’ compensation, aspects of the program vary according to the laws of your state. Most states require any employer with at least one employee to have coverage, other states set a minimum of two to five employees.
     
    Employers can either get insurance from an insurance company or they can become self-insured through a a state program. Requirements vary by state, by industry, and even by the size and structure of your business and payroll.
     
    Businesses that fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance can face severe fines, a heavy lawsuit, or even criminal charges.The state Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund is a special fund used to pay the claims of employees who get injured or become ill while working for an illegally uninsured employer.

     

    You Must Be an Employee for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

     
    Volunteers aren’t usually eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but there are some exceptions. Some states specifically cover volunteer firefighters, or they give organizations the option of covering their volunteers.
     
    In most states, there are time limits for reporting your injury to your employer, often about 30 days. If you are no longer employed with the company, and you failed to notify your previous employer in the appropriate time frame, you may lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
     
    In order to support your claim, you’ll need some proof that your injury happened while you were on the clock. This may be a statement from a coworker or someone who witnessed the accident, video footage from work surveillance cameras, or medical records if you received treatment right after the injury.

     

    The Injury or Illness Must Be Work Related

     
    Usually, if you were doing something for the benefit of your employer, and you were injured or became ill as a result, then your injury or illness is work related and you can receive benefits. Some injuries are clearly work related. For example, if you developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of typing on the job, slipped and fell over the folded carpet while on your way to the restroom, or became ill due to exposure from hazardous chemicals or even mold in the building.
     
    In other situations it may be harder to figure out if you are eligible for workers compensation benefits, like if you were injured during your lunch break, or at a company- sponsored social event. Injuries sustained off your employers premise, while on your lunch break, are not usually considered work related. If the injury was sustained on your employers premise, even during your lunch break, you can possibly be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, this would depend on how the accident occurred. Injuries sustained at a company sponsored social event are usually considered work related, but some states make an exception if the event is optional to participate.
     
    Workers’ compensation doesn’t generally cover injuries sustained during your commute to or from work. However there are exceptions to this rule; when you are driving a company vehicle, required to bring your own car for business during the work day, doing special errands for employer, or traveling on a business trip.

     
    If you were injured by the negligence of a 3rd-party involved, you could also be eligible to file a Personal Injury Claim. This could be possible if while you were under the scope of employment, your injury was sustained by someone who is not your employer or colleague.
     
    For example, you are walking out of the restroom and you slip and fall because the floors were just mopped, if your employer hired a 3rd-party maintenance company then they could be responsible for your injury. Another example, you are driving the company vehicle while out on a job task when another vehicle runs the red light and T-bones you. Due to the negligence of the other vehicle, they could be liable for your injuries. In personal injury claims, you can receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Unfortunately workers’ compensation does not offer this entity.
     

    Free Legal Advice

     
    There are multiple factors to consider when determining eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, including an understanding of your state’s laws. If you have been injured while under the scope of employment, have an attorney at Bond and Taylor review your claim at absolutely no cost to you. For a free over the phone case evaluation contact us at (800) 471-0314 . Our expert attorneys have the experience to determine whether you’re eligible for a claim or whether your claim has been wrongfully denied.

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    Distracted Driving Accidents

    Drowsy and Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise

    People who think they can drive safely when distracted or tired are wrong. While people who drive distracted may have avoided accidents in the past, distracted driving accidents kill more than 9 people and injure 1,000 people in the United States every day.
     
    What is the difference between drowsy driving and distracted driving?
     
    While drowsy driving occurs due to lack of sleep, distracted driving includes activities that take attention away from driving such as talking, texting, eating, drinking, and fiddling with a car’s entertainment or navigation system. There are 3 types of distractions.
     
    What are the main types of distractions?
     
    There are 3 types of distractions.

    • Visual—Includes taking your eyes off the road. Examples include drivers who check their kids seat belts and drivers who use electronic devices such as GPS’s and digital entertainment systems while driving.
    • Manual—Includes taking one or both hands off the wheel. These activities include eating and drinking in the car, adjusting the GPS and trying to get something from a purse, wallet or briefcase.
    • Cognitive—Includes any activity that takes your mind off driving. This occurs when a driver is preoccupied with personal, family and work-related issues and includes listening to podcasts or radio stations.

    As people who drive with distractions cannot respond to sudden changes in traffic conditions, all these distractions impair a person’s driving ability.
     
    How does distracted driving lead to accidents?
     
    Distracted driving accidents are caused by the following:

    • As each person only has a certain amount of available attention, a person who focuses their attention on one thing is not able to focus their attention sufficiently on other things.
    • According to University of Sussex, drivers who operate a vehicle while distracted suffer from visual tunneling. Visual tunneling is when drivers can only focus on a small, central region directly ahead of them. This causes drivers to miss hazards in their peripheral vision.

    For these reasons, statistics show that people who drive distracted are 23 percent more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers.
     
    How common are distracted driving accidents?

    • Every year, distracted driving accidents account for 4,000 deaths. In 2016, distracted driving related accidents caused 3,450 fatalities.
    • Every day, 10 people are killed due to distracted driving accidents.
    • According to AAA foundation Teen Driver Safety, 10 percent of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash.

    How do apps lead to distracted driving?
     
    With the creation of rideshare apps that employ drivers such as Uber and Lyft, cell phones become an essential tool for income and transactions. Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft require drivers to respond almost instantaneously to their smartphones, without regard to road conditions or safety. As responding to rideshare apps entail visual, cognitive and manual attention, these apps prevent drivers from focusing on the road. Although Uber allows drivers to take 15 seconds to tap their phone to accept ride requests, this amount of time is often not enough for a driver to safely pull over.
     
    If a driver fails to respond to a request within 15 seconds, the ride request will be transferred to another driver. If drivers fail to respond to multiple requests, drivers can be penalized with temporary suspensions for ignoring or declining calls. By requiring an instant response from drivers, the rideshare app is forcing drivers to either answer the phone or lose money.
     
    Are Uber Drivers just as likely to get into accidents as cab drivers?
     
    Studies indicate that drivers for rideshare apps get into more distracted driving accidents compared to traditional taxi cabs, who do not use smartphones or apps to conduct business.
     
    Statistics indicate the following:

    • While there were 5 fatal crashes involving Uber black car drivers between May and June of 2016, there were no accidents involving yellow taxis during this time.
    • From 2014 to 2016, yellow taxi accidents have been going down from 1,168 incidents in 2014 to 1,054 incidents in June 2016.
    • Uber fender bender accidents have increased from 2,835 occurrences in July 2014 to 3,814 occurrences in June 2016.

    What about hands-free driving?
     
    Unfortunately, hands-free driving still involves risks. Hands-free driving includes earpiece, dashboard systems and speakerphones. Studies show that using voice to text is more distracting than typing texts by hand. There are many risks associated with hands-free driving.
     
    How does hands-free driving cause distracted driving accidents?
     
    Not only is it important to have your hands ready on the wheel while driving, it is important to have your mind ready for sudden obstacles.
     
    These studies show the importance of having your mind free from distractions while driving:

    • The activity area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by up to 1/3 when listening or talking on a phone.
    • When talking on a phone, drivers looking at the windshield miss up to 50 percent of what’s around them.
    • According to the University of Sussex, even listening requires the brain’s visual processing capabilities. This is because phone conversations can be visual too. For example, if someone asks you, “where did you put the green folder?” your brain will imagine where you put the green folder and how to describe it.

    Given these studies, it is best to only use hands-free devices in emergencies.
     
    What apps minimize distracted driving accidents?
     
    Below is a list of apps that are known to prevent people from driving distracted.

    • Lifesaver—Deters distracted driving for families and fleets and offers parental control. The app can also lock the device once the car is in motion.
    • SaveDrive—Awards drivers who do not text and drive with rewards points to use at participating stores.
    • AT&T DriveMode—A free safe app that allows you to silence incoming text messages to keep drivers focused on the road.
    • Cellcontrol—A free app that eliminates distracted driving by stopping incoming texts, sending outgoing messages, taking selfies and receiving social media alerts while driving.
    • TextLimit—Prevents predefined features on a phone from functioning when the phone is moving above a certain speed.

    How does driving drowsy cause accidents?
     
    Compared to distracted driving, drowsy driving also takes drivers away from paying attention to the road. Driving without sleep lengthens the amount of time it takes a driver to react. Reaction time is important if a driver needs to brake or steer suddenly.
     
    How often does drowsy driving result in car accidents?
     
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimates that drowsiness caused 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013. However, these statistics may be underestimated. According to a new study by AAA, drowsy drivers may account for up to 6,000 deaths every year.
     
    Who’s likely to be involved in drowsy driving accidents?
     
    The following types of drivers often tend to be sleep deprived while operating a vehicle:

    • Commercial drivers who operate tow trucks, tractors, trailers and buses
    • People who work night shifts
    • People who work long shifts
    • Drivers with sleep disorders such as insomnia and apnea
    • Drivers who take medications that are known to cause drowsiness
    • Uber drivers, Lyft drivers, and drivers for other rideshare companies

    What are the risk factors and warning signs of drowsy driving?
     
    Individuals who sleep fewer than 6 hours per night are at risk for drowsy driving. If you are driving and fear that you may be getting drowsy, watch out for the following signs:

    • Yawning or blinking often
    • Missing your exit
    • Drifting from your lane

    How can I prevent getting in a drowsy driving accident?
     
    The following tips from the National Safety Council are known to prevent drowsy driving accidents:

    • Sleep enough every day.
    • Avoid taking medications that make you sleepy.
    • If you become sleepy while driving, pull over and take a nap for 15 to 20 minutes or change drivers.

    How do rideshare apps lead to drowsy driving accidents?
     
    Rideshare apps such as Uber employ behavioral psychologists to manipulate Uber drivers into working longer shifts and more hours, even if drivers are tired.
     
    According to New York Times investigators, Uber has hired scientists to develop video-game like techniques to influence how long the Uber driver will work. These techniques consist of the following:

    • Before Uber drivers log off from their app, drivers are notified if they have a bonus coming up. This is known as income targeting, which encourages drivers to work longer hours on days where demand isn’t as high.
    • Uber awards drivers with “badges of honor,” when a driver works several hours in a row.
    • As most Uber drivers are male, Uber’s customer service representatives pretend to be female.
    • Uber sends congratulatory text messages once a driver is close to receiving a monetary bonus.
    • Uber automatically assigns drivers to their next passenger. With this setup, it takes more work for a driver to stop working than to keep going.

    It is these techniques that rideshare apps such as Uber use to keep their drivers on-call. If you have been involved in an accident with a drowsy or distracted driver, the attorneys at Bond & Taylor can help.
     
    Contact our Auto Accident Lawyers at Bond & Taylor
     
    Our attorneys at Bond & Taylor can help auto accident victims do the following:

    • Handle insurance companies—Bond & Taylor can deal with insurance companies, so you don’t have to. It is important to know that any information that you directly provide to insurance companies can be used against you, unless you are represented by a lawyer.
    • Anticipate economic damages for your claim—Even if you think your injuries are minor, you may not have realized all your future injuries. A qualified auto accident attorney will recognize your future injuries and prove your related economic damages.
    • Obtain maximum compensation—Bond & Taylor understands the value of each unique claim and can help you obtain maximum reimbursement for present and future economic damages.

    If you or someone you love were involved in an auto accident, contact Bond & Taylor today.

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    Personal Injury Lawyer

    Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

    You’ve just been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. You’re injured, confused, and not sure what to do next. With a million thoughts running through your mind, two of the most important questions you might be asking yourself are, “Do I need an attorney?  Should I hire a personal injury lawyer?”
     
    The simple answer:  Yes, you should.
     
    Having an attorney immediately following any accidents can relieve some of the burden and stress of everything that comes with the accident, whether it be seeking medical treatment, or dealing with the insurance representatives directly.
     
    An experienced personal injury attorney understands the legal process and can analyze what your injury case is worth. In recent research studies by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), more victims are hiring attorneys to handle their claims.
     

    Research studies by the IRC show hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car accident pays significant dividends for accident victims pursuing an auto insurance claim compared to non-represented victims. In fact, a report found that 85 percent of settlements that are paid out by insurance companies for bodily injury claims are paid to clients who have hired an attorney to represent them.
     
    Furthermore, the Insurance Research Council found the average insurance payouts were 3.5 times higher for clients who have hired an attorney than for those without one. Based on their most recent polls from 2017, 52% of claimants had hired personal injury attorneys for their cases.
     
    Besides receiving the best possible settlement outcome, hiring an attorney for your personal injury claim can prevent you from making simple, yet common mistakes that can impact and affect your overall settlement. Our attorneys are here to protect the client’s best interests and to prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of the victims.
     
    Below are some common mistakes accident victims make:
     

    NEVER Give a Recorded Statement to Someone Other than Your Attorney

     
    Insurance companies can often lead a victim to certain ideas and conclusions in regards to the case, including making the victim believe it is mandatory to give a recorded statement about the accident. Insurance companies are aggressive and will make you feel like you must give a verbal recorded statement immediately following the accident, in an attempt to reduce your potential settlement, especially when you are stressed and confused on what to do following a personal injury accident.
     
    Any recorded statements given to the insurance companies can easily be taken out of context, falsely interpreted and used against the victim. This is why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to prevent any harm on your case.
     

    NEVER Post on Social Media About Your Personal Injury Case

     
    After a personal injury accident, most victims turn to social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.) to share their experiences on their life-changing events.  Think before you post. Your posts may seem innocent, but it can affect your case tremendously when it is time to settle. Even if your posts are unrelated to the accident, it can affect your case.
     
    A personal injury lawyer would suggest that you limit the information you share with family and friends. Insurance companies are looking to dispute all of your injuries and will look for anything in your past and present posts pertaining to your daily life to prove it.  Consider changing your privacy settings to limit those who can search for you and what the public can see on your social media. Insurance companies can spend endless resources to look into your personal injury claim and dispute your injuries by your own posts and daily activities to prevent having to pay you on what you deserve.
     

    NEVER Rush into a Quick Settlement

     
    After a life-changing accident, many victims wish to settle their insurance claims quickly to help pay for medical bills and other unforeseen expenses. The problem with this is you may not be fully aware of the extent of your injuries. Some injuries will take time to be diagnosed by a specialist, often showing the severity of the injury months after the accident. Injuries can progress and lead to other complications down the road.  Quick settlements are often less than the full value of your injury case.
     
    If there are any complications with your injuries or future medical expenses, you will not be able to recover again after you have settled your case. Essentially, there is little chance you’ll receive a fair valued settlement for your pain and suffering. This is where a personal injury lawyer would be able to best advise you. Be advised there is also a statute of limitations to present your claim.
     

    NEVER Ask for a Specific Settlement Amount

     
    You never want to limit yourself and your case.  If you do not understand how your personal injury accident claim is valued, you risk receiving less than what your case deserves. You may have to deal with future care costs and medical expenses for the rest of your life, which will affect your overall quality of life.  Once there is an acceptance of settlement, the victim will not be able to add any additional medical expenses that is incurred after settlement. Accepting a low settlement will discharge the insurance company from ever having to pay you more in the future.
     

    Select an Experienced Attorney

     
    Instead of rolling the dice on such an important moment in your life, you should seek the professional help of a knowledgeable, trusted, and reputable personal injury attorneys to help you handle your case. The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Bond & Taylor have been fighting for fair compensation for our client’s rights for over 40 years.  Our attorneys will handle your case with utmost care and professionalism that you deserve.
     
    An experienced attorney will aggressively and efficiently pursue the insurance companies for settlement to include but not limited to: your medical treatment expenses, loss of earnings, any out-of-pocket expenses, pain & suffering, and any future care treatments. If your case needs to be litigated, our team of attorneys have the knowledge and capabilities to fight the large insurance companies.
     
    Our experienced attorneys know how to handle procedural and evidentiary traps set up by insurance defense team. Our lawyers specialize in these types of cases and have the skills and resources to make these calculations to determine how to best pursue your claim. Let us get you the settlement you deserve for your pain and suffering.
     
    Contact us at (800) 471-0314 for your free consultation.

     

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    Drugged Driving Accidents

    How States are Dealing with Drugged Driving Accidents

    Alcohol is not the only substance that can impair driving ability. There are many other legal and illegal drugs that impair essential driving skills, which can lead to drugged driving accidents. Many drivers believe that driving under the influence of alcohol is a greater problem than driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs, but this is not the case.
     
    According to a list by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there are 80 drugs that are known to increase crash risk, impair driving ability and cause fatal injuries.
     
    What is Drugged Driving?
     
    A “drug” is any substance that causes physical and/or psychological changes. Both legal and illegal drugs are known to impair driving abilities. Drugged driving occurs when an individual drives on the roadway after using illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs. All states have general impairment laws that make drug-impaired driving illegal.
     
    What drugs do law enforcement officers search for?
     
    As certain drugs are known to impair driving abilities and increase crash risk more than others, law enforcement officers look out for the following types of drugs.

    • Cannabis—Includes marijuana leaves, hashish, hash oil and cannabis-based medications
    • Stimulants—Includes amphetamines, cocaine and ecstasy
    • Depressants—Includes alcohol, heroin, opioids and benzodiazepines
    • Hallucinogens—Includes ketamine, LSD, magic mushrooms, mescaline and PCP

    How does smoking cannabis lead to drugged driving accidents?
     
    Smoking or ingesting marijuana affects important driving skills including attentiveness, vigilance, perception of time and speed and use of acquired skills. Serum concentrations of THC higher than 5 ng/mL are associated with an increased risk of drugged driving accidents. Several studies by the Governors Highway Safety Administration demonstrate the following:

    • In a review of eight driving simulator studies, use of cannabis was associated with poor lane control or slowed driving. In this study, drivers who used marijuana did not stay within the lane as well as drivers who were sober.
    • Drivers who were given a high dose of marijuana were involved in more drugged driving accidents than drivers who received a low dose.
    • Use of marijuana was also shown to increase reaction time and the number of incorrect responses to emergencies.   
    • In a study of 60 cases, use of marijuana impacted motor coordination skills, visual functions that require divided attention, and perception of distance.

    How do stimulants affect driving ability?
     
    Taking stimulants places stress on the body’s vital organs such as the heart. This contributes to:

    • Attention difficulties
    • Aggressive and dangerous driving
    • Increased risk taking
    • Over-confidence in driving abilities

    How do depressants impact driving ability?
     
    According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, depressant drugs have the following affects.

    • Reduced reaction times
    • Reduced concentration
    • Increased drowsiness
    • Difficulty processing information

    How do hallucinogens affect driving ability?
     
    As hallucinogens cause people to experience distortions, hallucinogens affect driving ability in the following ways.

    • Hallucinations
    • Confused thinking
    • Blurred vision
    • Reduced coordination

    According to a study on how drugs affect the risk of getting in a car accident, drugs are either associated with small, moderate, high or extreme crash risks.
     
    How does marijuana lead to drugged driving accidents?
     
    While many marijuana users think they can safely drive after smoking, a comprehensive review by the Governors Highway Safety Association estimated that driving after smoking increased drugged driving accidents by 26 percent. Another study by Harman and Huestis determined that crash risk increases two times after cannabis smoking.
     
    How do other drugs cause drugged driving accidents?
     
    In 2015, 43 percent of drivers who were killed in auto accidents tested positive for drugs. In California, 19 percent of drivers involved in accidents tested positive for drugs. Refer to the following table.
     
    What happens if I get pulled over after taking drugs?
     
    All states have Driving Under Influence of Drug (DUID) laws, which makes it illegal to drive while impaired by any drug. In California, a person is also guilty of a DUI if they are driving while addicted to a drug. If a law enforcement officer pulls a driver over, the driver must exhibit the following:

    1. The driver must show signs of impairment to a law enforcement officer.
    2. The signs of impairment that the driver exhibits must be linked to a drug.

    While all states have general impairment laws, some states further implement laws that address drug-impaired driving. The two types of laws that states implement to address drug-impaired driving include Zero Tolerance laws and Per Se laws.
     
    What are Zero Tolerance laws?
     
    These laws say it is illegal to drive with any amount of a drug that can be measured in the body. While Zero Tolerance laws vary across states, these laws typically allow drivers to drive with medications that the individual has a prescription for. In some states, zero tolerance laws are only applicable to drivers under the age of 21. It is important to note that any measurable amount refers to the least amount of a drug that can be detected by laboratory equipment and produces a reliable result without false positives. Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and Utah are a few examples of the 16 states who have enacted zero tolerance drug laws.
     
    What are Per Se laws?
     
    Per Se laws make it illegal to drive with amounts of specified drugs in the body that exceed set limits. Colorado’s reasonable interference THC law is one example. In this law, driving under the influence occurs when THC is identified in a driver’s blood at levels of 5ng/mL or higher. Other states that have enacted DUI drug laws include Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
     
    How are DUID Laws enforced?
     
    DUID Laws are enforced in the following ways. When a law enforcement officer stops a driver for a traffic violation or at a checkpoint, the officer determines if there is a reason to suspect that the driver is impaired by use of drugs. The officer observes the driver’s behavior and any other signs such as the smell of marijuana, marijuana cigarettes and other signs of drugs.
     
    How do the signs of impairment for drugs differ from the signs of impairment for alcohol?
     
    While signs of impairment for alcohol include slurred speech, poor balance and alcohol odor, signs of impairment for various drugs consist of the following:

    • Depressants—Behavioral signs include slurred speech, drowsiness and disorientation.
    • Stimulants—Behavioral signs include hyperactivity, alertness, irritability, nervousness and anxiety.
    • Cannabis—Behavioral signs include tremors, incomplete thoughts and marijuana odor.
    • Hallucinogens—Behavioral signs include confused thinking and hallucinating.

    Since obtaining a conviction for Driving Under Influence (DUI) charges is quicker and cheaper when alcohol is suspect, other drugs will be considered only if alcohol is ruled out or the observed impairment is not consistent with the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level.
     
    Why is it difficult for law enforcement to test DUID charges for Cannabis, Stimulants, Depressants and Hallucinogens?
     
    As the effects of a drug on an individual depends on the person’s weight, health and frequency of consumption, it is difficult to quantify the precise amount of a drug that impacts driving ability.

    • Marijuana—The effects of cannabis use varies more among individuals at different life stages than it varies with alcohol because of tolerance, differences in smoking technique and different absorption rates of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.
    • Stimulants such as Cocaine—According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is no agreement on the exact quantity of cocaine that impairs an individual’s driving ability.
    • Depressants and Hallucinogens—To test for Depressant DUIs, law enforcement officers are required to bring in a drug reconciliation expert (DRE). The DRE checks the driver’s physical symptoms including the drivers pulse rate, pupil size, muscle tone and signs of possible injection sites throughout different parts of the body.

    What do I do if I am involved in an accident with someone on drugs?
     
    For those involved in drugged driving accidents, it is important to take the following steps.

    • Put Safety First—After an accident, check in with yourself and your passengers on the severity of the accident. If the accident is serious, call 911 immediately. If you are able, get out of the way of oncoming traffic.
    • Exchange Information—Exchange contact information with the other party. Pay attention to any signs of drugged driving. Write down any observations of what you see, hear and smell.
    • File a Police Report—At the scene of an accident, it is important to share your suspicion with the police. Although you cannot determine another person’s drug use based on a discussion with them, the police can perform a drug test on them. If the police confirm a positive test, the police will charge them with a DUID.
    • Collect Evidence—Make sure to document the scene of the accident by taking photos and videos of both the damages and your injuries.
    • Contact an Accident Attorney—If you have been involved in an accident, contact a qualified auto accident attorney.

    Contact our Auto Accident Lawyers at Bond & Taylor
     
    For more than 40 years, the attorneys at Bond & Taylor have been fighting for the rights of the injured. If you have been involved in an accident, we can help you:

    • Handle insurance companies—Often, insurance companies try to get a recorded statement from the victim after an accident. It is important that you do not personally give a statement to the insurance company, as any information provided can later be used against your claim.
    • Anticipate economic damages that you will be entitled to—Even if you think your injuries are minor, injuries may not appear until several days after the accident. A skilled auto accident attorney will recognize future injuries and prove your related economic damages.
    • Obtain maximum compensation—Bond & Taylor can obtain compensation on your behalf for a multitude of expenses including present and future economic damages and overall pain and suffering.
    •  
      If you or someone you love were injured in a car accident, contact Bond & Taylor today.

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